Bachelor of Physical Activity and Health Science

Australian Catholic University (ACU)

The Bachelor of Physical Activity and Health Science focuses on the roles and benefits of physical activity, exercise and healthy lifestyles. The degree provides a strong academic base in the foundations of health science, into exercise promotion, prescription and delivery, and for physical activity across the lifespan. It focuses on the practical skills required to become leaders in Outdoor Education, HPE Teaching, Coaching and Health Promotion professions. The skills are developed while studying the promotion, maintenance and enhancement of health, physical activity and sport related behaviours. They are further explored in the contexts of community health, personal well-being, leadership in outdoor education and sports performance. Students can choose from a range of electives in the specialised areas of physical education, leadership in outdoor education, sports coaching, and/or health and health promotion. Opportunities for industry-relevant practicum experience are embedded in the degree. The course aims to produce graduates with a strong academic base in health science disciplines related to physical activity and exercise, with the capacity to apply knowledge and skills in an ethical, fair and respectful manner. From year one, students are introduced to physical activity and exercise engagement, health promotion, and are given a foundation in health science as it relates to human function and performance. This includes fundamental concepts in anatomy, physiology, and human growth and development. Students also commence elective studies in areas of academic or vocational interest.

Course Fee:

International: $66,792

Entry Requirements:

Year 12 or equivalent; NSW recommended studies: English advanced, personal development, health and physical education (PDHPE); mathematics; plus one of biology, chemistry or physics; QLD recommended studies: English (4, SA), plus one of health, physical education, mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry or science 21; VIC prerequisites: A study score of at least 30 in English (ESL) or 25 in any other English. International applicants need to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements as defined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.


240 credit points consisting of: 120 cp from Core units; 90 cp drawn from Major/Minor and Elective units; 10 cp from Industry Experience; 20 cp from University Core Curriculum units and EXSC205 Industry Experience Preparation. Students must complete 140 hours of appropriate industry experience: these can be commenced, in part, in Year 2 and completed in Year 3; or completed entirely in Year 3. Some professional experience placements require employment screening/police checks.

Subjects you can Study:

Physical activity and health science

Study Pathways:

Graduates are eligible to apply for admission to: higher degree studies in Education, if seeking teacher registration (dependent upon elective choices); postgraduate studies in High Performance Sport; one-year Honours courses, for meritorious students preparing for higher degree research; postgraduate studies in Clinical Exercise Physiology courses (dependent upon elective choices and relevant practicum experience); further study in other allied health professions; further study in nutrition/dietetics (dependent upon elective choices).

Further information:

The Bachelor of Physical Activity and Health Science allows students to choose elective majors (8 units) in Health and Physical Education teaching or Leadership in Outdoor Education. The HPE teaching major is available on the Strathfield campus. The Leadership in Outdoor Education major is offered on the Melbourne campus. Students can also choose 2 elective minors (4 units each) in Leadership in Outdoor Education and Health Promotion as part of their Physical Activity and Health Science degree. These Minor study areas are available at the Melbourne, Strathfield and Brisbane campuses.


Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) dependent upon elective unit choices, the offering of a major that meets ESSA Graduate Entry Membership requirements will provide these graduates with an avenue to pursue further study in order to attain EP accreditation; importantly, ACU offers a NUCAP-accredited postgraduate Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology course for EP accreditation (upon application). This major also has provides the potential for these graduates to attain membership of ESSA at the ES level. Teacher registration-dependent upon elective unit choices, a graduate can seek teacher registration by undertaking a Graduate Diploma or Masters in Teaching, with each state having specific discipline requirements. Graduates will be eligible for membership with Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER).

Accepts International Students:


Provider CRICOS: 00004G

Campus ATAR/OP Mid Year Intake Study Mode Duration
Melbourne (St Patrick's) 59.85 No Full time 3 years
Melbourne (St Patrick's) 59.85 No Part time 6 years
Brisbane (McAuley at Banyo) No info Yes Full time 3 years
Brisbane (McAuley at Banyo) No info Yes Part time 6 years
Strathfield (Mount Saint Mary) 58.5 No Full time 3 years
Strathfield (Mount Saint Mary) 58.5 No Part time 6 years

The world is our campus

We’re a publicly-funded university which has grown rapidly over the past few years. The world is our campus, and we put our students and staff at the centre of a vibrant global network of scholars, partnerships and opportunities. ACU has seven campuses around Australia – in Brisbane, North Sydney, Strathfield, Canberra, Ballarat, Melbourne and Adelaide – and we’ve recently opened a campus in Rome, Italy. With us, you’ll have the chance to study overseas with one of more than 200 partner institutions around the world.

Engaged with industry and society

We’re closely integrated into our communities and industries, working with them to answer the big questions, and to create tangible results. From hospitals, to schools and any number of far-flung places, our students and staff have always rolled up their sleeves to be fully engaged in the real world. 

All our students enjoy extensive opportunities for practical placements, and community engagement is a core part of their university experience. You could find yourself teaching children in Vanuatu, assisting in a community organisation in Cambodia, working with a welfare agency in Florence, or helping to develop youth soccer teams in East Timor. When they graduate, our students are ready to work, and the employment rate of our bachelor degree graduates is consistently higher than the national average.*

We see the whole person

You are welcome at ACU irrespective of your socio-cultural background, religious beliefs or aspirations. We’re inclusive and supportive of everyone, every day. With us, you’ll be valued and encouraged to thrive to the full extent of your potential. From academic skills to career and counselling services, we have a range of support services to help you succeed. We also offer nearly 400 scholarships, which

recognise academic achievement, community participation, and help out students from a range of backgrounds. 

Education with a bigger purpose

ACU offers programs in allied health, arts, business and commerce, education and teaching, exercise science, health, law, nursing and midwifery, paramedicine, philosophy, psychology and counselling, science, social work, and theology.

Along with significant student growth in recent years, we’ve begun to compete more intensely through our research output. ACU research programs tackle enduring and pressing issues in society, in Australia, and around the world.

At ACU, it’s education, but with a bigger purpose.

*Beyond Graduate Survey 2015, 2014 and 2013, conducted by Graduate Careers Australia as part of the Australian Graduate Survey.

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